Saturday, March 5

Antonio: workaholic winger with a touch of class

If Dimitri Payet wasn't certain to win the Hammer of the Year contest, then Michail Antonio would be making himself a prime contender. You can feel the hunger of  Antonio every time he plays; he chases back to surge into tackles and celebrates goals like they're still a novelty. 

Born in Wandsworth, he's certainly had to work for his career, starting off at Tooting and Mitcham, then signing for Reading, where he had loan spells at Toooting again, Cheltenham, Southampton and Colchester. After signing for Sheffield Wednesday, he then moved on to Nottingham Forest where he scored 16 goals in 50 appearances and became a big hit with the fans before moving to the Hammers for £7 million. 

At West Ham he didn't complain when he wasn't in the team and since breaking into the side has shown an ability to play as emergency right-back, wing back, winger and striker. But beyond the workrate and his ability in the air, there's been real skill, such as the cushioned volley against Liverpool and that mazy dribble and curled finish against Sunderland. He's still just 25 and Antionio is surely a player who can only get better.

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